What To Do After A Bike Crash
By Zac Pingle, Staff Writer
Hundreds of Bicyclists are killed every year in America, and thousands more are injured. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 900 people were killed and almost 500,000 emergency department visits were needed due to bicycle crashes in 2013. If you ride frequently, it is not unlikely that you will crash your bike and get hurt one day. So what do you do then?
Panicking, just like in many other situations, will not help you at all. A bicycle crash can be painful and terrifying, but it’s still crucial to collect your thoughts and asses the situation. Don’t throw a tantrum at the driver. Instead, alert the driver that you have been hit, and may have been injured, in a respectful manner. You should take a minute or so to breathe and focus after you have alerted the driver.
Get Medical Help
The impact of the collision may have caused injuries that you are not aware of. Endorphins will surge through your bloodstream to help fight off pain. This means that you might not fully recognize injuries as severe as broken bones, strained muscles, or even internal bleeding until the endorphins wear off. Have a paramedic examine you at the scene, and have a doctor check up on you immediately it the paramedic identifies serious injuries Even if you don’t think you have serious injuries, schedule a visit to the doctor’s office within a day or two to make sure all injuries have been identified and begin treatment if appropriate.
Call the Police
A police officer should create a report of the crash and take your statement as well as those of other witnesses. This will provide an objective assessment of what happened and will help you later when you file a claim. If the police officer does not take your statement, then create your own. Write down everything that happened from your point of view and visit the police department later to add your statement. Do not touch anything at the scene of the crash until the police officer has made his report.
You need to gather evidence for your claim while it’s fresh. Make sure to:
- Take photos of the scene from different angles, damage that was caused by the crash, and any wounds that you sustained due to the crash.
- Gather phone numbers and other contact information from the driver and other witnesses.
- Get the badge number of the police officer who is making the report, take his business card too if he has one.
- Keep your bike and equipment as it is after the crash. Do not get it repaired.
- Keep medical records, receipts, and any other documentation of expenses needed due to the crash.
- Get the driver’s insurance information.
You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It’s is likely that the driver will realize that he is responsible but that does not guarantee anything. The insurance company could fight to deny you compensation. Hire a lawyer who is experienced handling bike accident cases and not afraid to bring the case to court. You will only have a limited amount of time to file a claim. The sooner you take legal action, the stronger your case will be.